“The registered value of public assets has increased by 52 percent, i.e. by some 6 trillion forints (EUR 17.78 billion) since 2010, and now approaches 18 trillion forints (EUR 53.34 billion), Minister without Portfolio for the Development of State Assets Andrea Bártfai-Mager said.

“The Hungarian state is acting as a good administrator with relation to managing public assets, which have continuously increased in recent years. In 2010, the value of state assets was 11,650 billion forints (EUR 34.5 billion), which has increased to 17,742 billion (EUR 53.6 billion) by 2020”, the Minister said, pointing out that this is the result of the fact that since 2010 the government has been practicing an asset policy that is primarily aimed at the expansion and rational and economic utilisation of public assets.

“The make-up of dynamically increasing public assets includes 62 percent real estate and 21 percent company shareholding. The remainder is supplemented by other asset elements (e.g. tangible property). The 6-billion-forint increase in public assets partly stems from the purchasing of property, and partly from the real economic growth of state-owned companies, which is a result of the country gaining strength following the global economic crisis”, she added.

From among the transactions of the past decade, the Minister highlighted the acquisitions realised within the energy sector: “In the interests of preserving the achievements of the utility charge cut, through targeted acquisitions we established the National Public Utility Company (NKM), which operates the electricity, natural gas and district heating sectors of national public utilities. Through rethinking the strategic and leading role of MVM Hungarian Electricity Works Zrt., and reorganising its supportive activities within the NKM, we have achieved the integration of the MVM Group and the National Public Utility Company. As a result, a national service provider with a strong background has been established that is capable of realising a successful regional strategy, in addition to which it is significantly contributing to the security of Hungary’s supply and to the Hungarian application of renewable energy sources”.

The Minister said it is a major step forward that the member companies of the MFB (Hungarian Investment Bank) Group are working according to a coordinated strategy to expand the financing solutions available to Hungarian enterprises. The Group is performing development institution tasks within the field of lending via the expansion of self-developed products, an increased willingness to undertake risks, and the dynamic market appearance of European Union funding, and at group level via the coordination of loan capital guarantee instruments.

Within the cooperative credit institution sector, the fusion process resulting in the merging of all existing savings cooperatives into Takerékbank Zrt. (Savings Bank Zrt.) was completed in 2019, leading to the creation of Hungary’s fifth largest bank group. The Minister highlighted the fact that as a result of the amalgamation it has become possible for a Takerékbank Zrt. that is healthier from both a business and IT perspective to provide its customers with better and more modern products and services at a countrywide level, while conforming to the challenges posed by digital banking.

“As a result of an increasing state role and its reappearance within strategic sectors since 2010, the number of state-owned companies now approaches 600”, Ms. Bártfai-Mager stated.

“It is a fundamental ownership expectation with relation to our companies is that they are managed economically and must seek cooperation opportunities that will enable them to appear on the market jointly and more effectively”, the Minister emphasised. With relation to companies that provide public services, she added that in their case the primary goal is to assure the provision of those public services, to fulfil social requirements, and ultimately to serve the interests and wellbeing of Hungarian families, as well as to effectively contribute to the realisation of national economic and government targets.

“Parallel to the increase in public assets, asset elements that do not serve social targets, and the continued ownership of which is accordingly not justified, must be discarded. Thanks to the public and transparent online auction interface established in 2015 in the interests of portfolio cleansing, the state has realised almost 60 billion forints (EUR 178 million) in revenues to date”, the Minister stated.

“We have come closer to the set target of public assets actually only including asset elements that are of priority importance strategically, the operation of which are economical and profitable, and the continued ownership of which is necessary for the performance of state duties. During the course of our work we are striving to ensure that the state possesses a streamlined, value-creating asset portfolio that greatly contributes to increasing the county’s competitiveness”, Ms. Bártfai-Mager highlighted.

(MTI)